How to Help a Loved One See the Impact of Their Gambling Addiction
Gambling is a highly addictive behavior that triggers the brain’s reward center and produces feelings of elation when winning and despair when losing. It can have devastating effects on family relationships and careers, as well as personal health and finances. Addiction to gambling is a real disease that requires treatment.
While a person can’t be forced to admit they have a problem, there are ways you can help them see the impact of their addiction and encourage them to seek treatment. The best way is to educate yourself about compulsive gambling and the symptoms and effects of this disorder, so you can approach your loved one with knowledge and empathy. You can also learn about the resources and support that are available to individuals suffering from this disease, including holistic and evidence-based therapies and dual-diagnosis treatments.
Often, people with gambling problems hide their behavior from friends and family in order to protect them. This can cause a sense of betrayal for those closest to them. It can also lead to arguments and relationship breakdowns, especially when significant others are deceitful in their efforts to cover up the truth.
If you notice that a loved one is hiding their gambling, try to open up a dialogue in a private setting. Explain that you’re concerned about their behaviour and how it affects you. Focus on their behaviour, not them. Be prepared to share how you feel about their actions, and don’t be afraid to express your own frustrations or sadness. You can also offer your support by suggesting they seek financial and therapeutic advice. You can also ask about a free initial assessment with a therapist who specialises in treating addictions, including gambling addiction.